.XWZ Files Virus – How to Remove and Restore Data

.XWZ Files Virus – How to Remove and Restore Data

READ ME FOR DECRYPT.txt ransom note Xorist ransomware .XWZ virus

This article provides detailed removal instructions for the latest variant of Xorist ransomware dubbed .XWZ files virus. Several file restore methods could be find as well.

A crypto virus named .XWZ Files Virus has been spotted to harass computer users. Its name is a derivative of the specific file extension it appends to corrupted files. The infection could be spread worldwide with the help of various distribution methods. Once running on the system, it aims to encrypt important files stored on the infected host so that it can later blackmail victims into paying a ransom for .XWZ files decryption. At the end of the attack .XWZ ransomware is designed to drop a ransom note file (READ ME FOR DECRYPT.txt) that provides information about the infection as well as contact email address for file decryption.

Threat Summary

Name.XWZ Files Virus
Short DescriptionThe ransomware encrypts files on your computer, appends the extension .XWZ to them and displays a ransom message afterward.
SymptomsYour valuable files become inaccessible and are renamed with the extension .XWZ. A ransom note appears on the PC screen and demands a ransom payment.
Distribution MethodSpam Emails, Email Attachments
Detection Tool See If Your System Has Been Affected by .XWZ Files Virus


Malware Removal Tool

User ExperienceJoin Our Forum to Discuss .XWZ Files Virus.
Data Recovery ToolWindows Data Recovery by Stellar Phoenix Notice! This product scans your drive sectors to recover lost files and it may not recover 100% of the encrypted files, but only few of them, depending on the situation and whether or not you have reformatted your drive.

.XWZ File Virus – Spread Techniques

To infect users, this new Xorist ransomware strain may be spread via several different methods. Some of the main are:

  • Spam email messages that aim to trick into downloading malicious file attachment or clicking malicious URL that causes a drive-by-download attack
  • Fake software updates, Windows system activators, game key generators and other scams that are designed to execute the malicious code after you click on them
  • Infected USB driver or other external drives

.XWZ File Virus – More Information

The name of this ransomware is a derivative of the specific file extension it appends to corrupted files. Analyses of .XWZ crypto virus’ samples conducted by security researchers indicate that the threat belongs to the Xorist ransomware family. The good news is that some of the previous Xorist variants including .C0rp0r@c@0Xr@, .HELLO, and .Files-Frozen- have been successfully decrypted by malware analysts. So the released free decryption tools are supposedly able to decrypt corrupted .XWZ files as well. In the guide below you will find a link to a page that provides some of the available Xorist ransomware decryption tools.

The infection process begins when .XWZ crypto virus is activated on a target system. First, the ransomware should get all malicious files it needs for the attack. For the purpose, its code may be designed to create some of the files directly on the system while others may need to be downloaded from its command and control server. The malicious files are likely to be located in some essential Windows system folders like:

  • %AppData%
  • %Roaming%
  • %Temp%
  • %Common%
  • %{User’s Profile}%

Afterward, .XWZ ransomware virus initiates a sequence of system modifications some of which are made to ensure its persistence on the infected host. Most of the threats similar to the latest Xorist iteration enter Windows Registry Editor to add malicious values under some sub-keys with paramount functionalities. Such sub-keys are often Run and RunOnce as they manage the execution process of all files that support the regular system performance. Thus, by entering values under these two keys .XWZ ransomware starts automatically on each Windows system launch.

The functionalities of the same keys are likely to be used at the end of the attack when .XWZ crypto virus needs to display its ransom note on PC screen and informs victims the following:

All your files is encrypted using an unknown algorithm!
Do not try decrypt manualy!
You can destroy your files!!
To decrypt, please contact us BlackStarMafia@qq.com
Your personal ID: ****-2OYU-****-K1JJ
How to buy Bitcoins?

The information is contained in a file READ ME FOR DECRYPT.txt that could be dropped on the desktop or other system folder. The message doesn’t state how much the requested amount is but its payment must be avoided for sure. If you are a victim of this nasty data locker ransomware be advised to avoid contacting hackers at the given email address. It is for the sake of your personal and system security.

.XWZ File Virus – Encryption Process

The previous versions of Xorist ransomware are known to encrypt files by using the XOR or TEA cipher algorithms. Supposedly, .XWZ has the same encryption module. All file types listed below get encrypted by .XWZ crypto virus:

.1cd, .3gp, .7z, .a06, .ac3, .aleta, .aol, .ape, .arena, .aspx, .avi, .b64, .bak, .bd, .bmp, .cdr, .cer, .csv, .dat, .db, .dbf, .divx, .djvu, .dl0, .dl1, .dl2, .dl3, .dl4, .dl5, .dl6, .dl7, .dl8, .dl9, .doc, .docx, .dwg, .flac, .flv, .frf, .gdb, .gif, .gzip, .htm, .html, .ibk, .ifo, .jpeg, .jpg, .kwm, .ldf, .lnk, .m2v, .max, .md, .mdb, .mdf, .mkv, .mov, .mp3, .mp4, .mpeg, .mpg, .mt0, .mt1, .mt2, .mt3, .mt4, .mt5, .mt6, .mt7, .mt8, .mt9, .net, .odt, .p12, .pdf, .pfx, .png, .ppt, .pptx, .ps1, .psd, .pwm, .rar, .sql, .tar, .tib, .torrent, .txt, .vhd, .vhdx, .vob, .wallet, .wav, .wk0, .wk1, .wk2, .wk3, .wk4, .wk5, .wk6, .wk7, .wk8, .wk9, .wma, .wmv, .xls, .xlsm, .xlsx, .xml, .zip

After encryption, all corrupted files are left out of order and marked with the extension .XWZ. Furthermore, as a way to eliminate one of the possible options for file restore, the ransomware accesses the Command Prompt and then runs the command line “vssadmin.exe Delete Shadows /All /Quiet”. This way it deletes all Shadow Volume copies stored by the system.

Remove .XWZ Files Virus and Restore Files

The step-by-step removal guide below provides both manual and automatic approaches. Beware that the removal of .XWZ Files Virus is not an easy task. It is a severe threat that plagues the whole system. For maximum efficiency, security researchers recommend the help of advanced anti-malware tool.

After you fulfill the removal process make sure to check the “Restore Files” step available in our guide below. But before that be advised to back up all encrypted files to an external drive and prevent their irreversible loss.

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana Ivanova

Gergana has completed a bachelor degree in Marketing from the University of National and World Economy. She has been with the STF team for four years, researching malware and reporting on the latest infections.

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1 Comment

  1. AvatarZahur

    You can use the shadow copy of your windows to recover the previous version before the attack. This is the best safest way. You can have other tool like ShadowExplorer-0.9-portable that will help to recover your previous good version.



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